Considering hiring a brand photographer?
It’s a great idea, but can I let you in on a little secret?
All photos are not created equal.
And, in turn, not all photographers are created equal either.
I mean all you have to do is look at images on Google for a minute to see how true this is.
There are a lot of niche’s in the world of photography, and while many seem to think any photographer will do…. You’d be wrong.
You are looking into using images for your business to grow into a brand.
Hiring a photographer that understands how to convey that in images is important!
Branding photography is a unique niche.
The strategy that goes into the images you will use in your business goes above and beyond a simple photoshoot.
The goal of great brand images is not a beautiful image.
It’s a beautiful image that will build trust in the viewer that you can deliver on what you say you will as a business.
Successful brands use imagery to convey their brand values. That goes way beyond the pretty-ness of an image.
The images you choose and where you place those specific images guide a viewer on a path set out by you.
Adding images to your website without strategy is a recipe for disaster.
How do you make sure that your brand photographer is going to provide you with the right images with the right effect?
Consider these 6 questions as you look into hiring a brand photographer.
1 – What is their process?
Brand photography is a different beast than other photography niches. Creating images that give you content that conveys your brand value is strategic.
And for good strategy, there should be a process and a plan of action BEFORE the photoshoot occurs.
When you reach out to branding photographer, ask them what their process is.
Unless you are a brand strategist yourself, you will need help understanding the type of visuals you need. Visuals that will help guide a viewer through your website. With the goal of the images to be to guide the viewer from interest to inquiry or buy.
Your brand photographer should be there to guide you.
To help you figure out what images will be best to showcase your business and get you those clients!
The getting of the clients is the most important part.
Because if we are not helping you get more clients, what’s the point?
2- What does their brand photography website look like?
I couldn’t tell you how many websites I’ve seen offering branding photography, but the website doesn’t showcase their own brand well.
They don’t show up on their website and help you understand who they are and how they can help. They show pretty photos they’ve taken and share a price list. That’s it.
How can they understand how to help you if they don’t practice what they preach?
Do some research on the photographer to make sure they know what they are doing and that they are walking the walk!
Check out their website, their Instagram and Facebook pages. See how they serve the clients they have.
How do they show up in their own business before you hire them to help you represent your own!
See what people are saying about the experience of working with them. Seeing what past clients have said can be a great indicator.
3 – Do they have a strategy for creating the images you want?
Before your branding photoshoot, there should be a strategy call and a plan for action.
What images are you looking to walk away with?
Again, this isn’t about getting a pretty photo.
It’s a pretty photo of you on the left part of the image with a clean background on the right side that will work great for text.
With the plan of it being used on the front banner of your website so it needs to be a long and skinny image.
See how that makes a difference?
When hiring a brand photographer, don’t go in blind and hope for the best. Go in with a list of the topmost important images you want to walk away with.
You can make sure to shoot the right content to give you the best results possible.
Don’t know what type of images you need? How does the photographer guide you in that mission?
4- Do you like their Portfolio?
Obviously, you should like the photographer’s portfolio and their style of photography.
Do you like how they use light?
Do you like the emotion in the images?
Are they compelling?
But more importantly, are they willing to work with you to make the images distinct to your brand?
Many portrait photographers care about the specific final image fitting in with their own brand of imagery.
But branding photography is different. It’s not about the photographer’s brand, it’s about yours. Make sure the photographer gets this.
Will they work to fit within the branding aesthetic you’ve already created? Or do they staunchly expect you to keep the images looking like you deliver them?
A brand photographer works with you to create a seamless connection to YOUR brand.
Their brand aesthetic shouldn’t be the consideration.
Then you’ll look at how they use light, the emotions they can connect to in their images and if the images are compelling.
Because those aspects of the shoot won’t change with the processing of the images.
5- Are you comfortable around this brand photographer?
It’s really easy to feel uncomfortable in front of the camera.
You don’t know what to do, how to stand, or if you look stupid.
It’s the job of that photographer to help guide you.
Help make you comfortable in a normally awkward feeling situation.
It’s the branding photographers job to show your personality through the images.
You will show your personality (and relax!!) when you feel comfortable and that you will get good results from this photographer.
Which is why it’s so important to feel a connection and trust when hiring a brand photographer.
Trust that they will get you these amazing images.
You must relax and trust their process so that the images look like you are relaxed and confident!
It may be a cliche saying, but “the eyes are the window to the soul” is true.
If you don’t trust that the photographer is going to give you the results you are looking for, then you won’t. Because it will be written on your face in every image.
All your images will show that distrust and misgivings in your eye.
6- Will there be enough time to get a variety of images?
How long will your shoot be?
Will that be long enough to get the variety of images you’d like to capture?
It takes time to create specific images that will connect with your clients.
We end up shooting the same thing repeated a handful of times to make sure we walk away with that one image that will connect for you.
For instance, I always laugh when people say “I only need just one image.” As they think it will take just one click of the shutter to arrive at that magical moment. It takes repetition to create that visual magic when you are working for a very specific image.
Getting purposeful and strategic images take time.
That “one” image you are looking for may take 20 minutes of shooting to get the magic shot.
This is why I offer photo shoots that are 4 hours long. We have the time to change the setting. To change your attire. To tell many different stories that you can use in the marketing of your small business.
We start out with the plan of your top 15 or so images that are your most important. Once we capture that feeling and image, we can capture variations on that theme. When we have a good selection of the best images to work with, then we move on. That may take 20 minutes, it may take an hour.
So make sure that you have ample time in your branding photo shoot to capture all the images you will want!
Otherwise, you’ll be feeling the need to update your images again sooner than you expected!
So to recap, here are the 6 questions you should ask when hiring a brand photographer.
- What is your process?
- What does their website look like?
- Do they have a strategy for creating the images you want?
- Do you like their Portfolio?
- Are you comfortable around them?
- Will there be enough time to get a variety of images?
- Bonus Article : How to Grow your Business with Branded Photos